Election outcome will pave ways for positive politics

Updated: Nov 24, 2010, 17:54 PM IST

Ajeet Kumar

Most of the election results have come in and JDU & BJP alliance has bagged around 200 seats in line with many pre and post poll surveys. In the history of democratic India, this is perhaps one of the most emphatic wins for a coalition.

But this is not a time for jubilancy for NDA. The election verdict has added electorate’s heavy expectation on the shoulder of Nitish Kumar and his team.

As far as Lalu Prasad Yadav is concerned, it may or may not be the end of the road for him. One can only hope that he will learn certain lessons from the results and turn to positive politics (keeping in view the equation of social justice cum economic justice) rather than negative politics which is focussed mainly on caste, class and religion.

For the people of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav will always remain like a messiah despite the heavy set back in elections. No one can deny the fact that the current political and social aesthetics in Bihar are the fruitful outcome of Lalu’s Mandal and post Mandal politics.

Not only Nitish Kumar but most of the leaders from Backward, most -backward and dalit castes are the emergence of that political era of social justice.

This was the era successfully operated under the leadership of Lalu Prasad Yadav who broke the long lasting dominancy of forward class and feudalism. But later on he failed to deliver the due economic share to the neo- emerged marginalised and subaltern class which had backed him heavily.

The poll outcome has surely showed that the Messiah of social justice, well known for his magic mastery of keeping a finger on the electorate’s pulse, has completely failed this time. The electorate has totally rejected the idea of negative politics ridden on ill treated castes. If Lalu had accepted the changing pattern of political aesthetics, focussed on development; results would have been fruitful for him. But instead of appreciating the scale of development centric politics Lalu focused on tightening his stereo-typed cult based legacy of post Mandal politics and grand epic of secularism.

Furthermore, Nitish government’s development agenda has also helped in separating the electorate from the RJD. Added to this Lalu’s total negation of Nitish Kumar’s development agenda only worsened things for. In the last five years of being in power, Nitish Kumar tried his best to deliver good governance. However his endeavour hasn’t completely translated into its comprehensiveness.

In the run up to this development model, Agriculture sector remained totally untouched, the sector on which majority of population of Bihar depends. Service sector also remained untouched by development. Main work happened in the field of public expenditure projects like road, Pulia and hospital.

The poll verdict is a reminder that in his second tenure Nitish will have to focus on agricultural growth that is the backbone of Bihar’s rural economy.

From political and social arena challenges aren’t few. Those who are giving credit to Nitish for his one man show have to consider a few more things. After detachment from Lalu, Nitish was not offered power overnight. It took quite a good amount of time to shift the paradigm of power. The response of the electorate is a consequence of his developmental show in the last five years.

It is a much appreciated response of development centric politics. If Nitish Kumar and his government fail to deliver good governance as shown in his last regime, electorate will surely change their camp. In politics, puritanism is not always good. Nitish will have to understand this electoral reality and overcome political compulsions.

In a state like Bihar where political aesthetics are still in a phase of transition, social management will also remain a challenge for Nitish. Any mismanagement of social structure will spoil the game.